Tumbling to a price of $28.66 during today's morning trading session, shares of HP are now -5.24% below their average target price of $30.24. Does this mean the stock will reverse course? Analysts are giving HPQ an average rating of hold and target prices ranging from 24 to 37 dollars per share.
It seems the market sentiment regarding HP is mostly optimistic, since it has a short interest of only 4.0%. This is the percentage of the share float that is being shorted by investors who are hoping the stock's price will decrease in the future.
When a stock is sold short, it means an investor has borrowed shares of the stock from their broker, and then sold them at the going market price. The investor hopes for the price to decline, so that they might buy those shares back at a lower price in the future. Once they do, they can return the borrowed shares to their broker, and keep the profit they made on the transaction.
One way to get an idea of the market sentiment on a stock is to check its rate of institutional ownership. In the case of HP, institutional investors own 85.7% of the shares, which indicates they have a very high stake in the company. What does this really tell us?
Institutional investors such as hedge funds, investment firms, and wealth managers devote significant resources to identifying good investments. If they have decided to invest in HPQ, it probably means they believe it is a solid investment choice.
But it could also mean they are buying up shares in an effort to acquire the company or to get seats on the board of directors. Also bear in mind that institutions are fallible (just maybe not quite as fallible as the average retail investor), so they may simply be wrong when they think they've found a good stock.
Overall, there is mixed market sentiment towards HP because of an analyst consensus of some upside potential, a hold rating, an average amount of shares sold short, and a significant number of institutional investors. Investors should not base their decisions on market sentiment only, they should also be aware of a stock's fundamentals before committing.
At a glance, here are some essential statistics you may want to know about HPQ:
It has trailing 12 month earnings per share (EPS) of $2.35 per share
HP has a trailing 12 month Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 12.2 while the S&P 500 average is 15.97
HP is a Technology company, and the sector average P/E and P/B ratios are 26.5 and 5.57 respectively